Sandra Griffin, 45, of Compton has been awarded $6.9 million by a Los Angeles jury as compensation for a severe brain injury she suffered in a 2006 auto accident when she was broadsided by a speeding LAPD squad car. According to a news article in the Los Angeles Times, LAPD Officer Scotty Stevens was doing 51 mph in a 35-mph zone on Imperial Highway in South Los Angeles without lights or sirens on and hit Griffin’s parked car as he swerved to avoid another vehicle.
Griffin, who was in the vehicle at the time of the crash, suffered severe injuries. She was in a coma for a week and had severe injuries to her skull, hip, spleen and lungs. As a result of her brain injury she went from being a single mother who was taking care of her two daughters and elderly parents, to someone who needs to be cared for 24/7.
The Brain Injury Society defines Traumatic Brain Injury as an insult to the brain caused by a direct blow to the skull via a closed or open head injury. It can be caused by motor vehicle incidents, bullet wounds, physical assaults, physical battering, shaken baby syndrome, domestic violence, falls, sports and recreation injuries. An estimated 5.3 million Americans, little more than 2% of the US population currently live with disabilities resulting from brain injury.
- More than 50,000 people die every year as a result of traumatic brain injury.
- Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of brain injury. They account for 50% of all traumatic brain injuries
- Each year, 80,000 Americans experience the onset of long-term disability following traumatic brain injury.
As a personal injury law firm we have represented numerous traumatic brain injuries cases that were caused by auto accidents. And many of these cases involved young children and teenagers who became dependents for the rest of their lives. The money that is secured in these cases is not a jackpot or a financial win for a brain-injured victim. It’s a necessity for them to receive quality care for the rest of their lives. Please remember any personal injury claim against a California governmental agency, like this story, must be properly made within six months of the date of injury (Governmental Code section 911.2).